Naga Morung Male Figure – India – 20th Century
This Naga figure of a man is carved from a single piece of hardwood. It has a worn, encrusted patina. The figure has an oversized head; a barrel chest; and small feet standing close to eachother. The arms and legs are bent slightly which seems a common feature among Naga figures. The face has the squarish features associated with Naga imagery. There are chiselled ‘tattoo’ marks on either side of the face.
Most probably, the figure was carved to decorate a Morung building – a communal house that served as a meeting place for men, as a sleeping place for adolescents and bachelors, and as a shelter for ritual objects. Each clan tended to have a morung and so there would be several morung buildings in a typical village.
Possibly, the figure also served as a funerary effigy, as a temporary residence for the soul of the recently departed, although its use as a morung figure is
The figure has an excellent patina. There is the expected age and shrinkage-related cracking to the wood, but this is stable.
47cm high – 13cm wide – 12cm depth